An 8-year-old Philadelphia girl’s strength and resilience during her battle with alopecia, a medical condition that causes hair loss, has inspired her family to shave their heads.
Savannah Brown and her family joined Fox 29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” earlier in the week to discuss her journey and the heartwarming support from her loved ones.
Brown’s mother Ruqayyah Qaiyim said her daughter was diagnosed with alopecia two months ago. According to the National Institutes of Health, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack its hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
Qaiyim said the little girl’s doctors are not sure why she developed the disorder, which is rare in children, but think it could be connected to a past illness like her COVID-19 diagnosis during the summer.
To show support for Brown’s courage in losing her hair, her mother, father, grandmother and aunt shaved their heads.
“It was just like ‘OMG,’ I have an amazing family that supports me in a really awesome way,” Savannah said on the show. “Not a lot of moms would do that and my mom is special to me. Really special.”
Brown’s father, Steven Mack, explained his decision to shave his head was to support his little girl, but to also challenge what society considers to be beautiful.
“It kind of helped Savannah realize real beauty is designed by her character,” he said.
During the family’s appearance on “Good Day Philadelphia,” Brown’s great aunt Monica Gibson decided to shave her head on live television as a public display of support.
“[Savannah] is amazing. She has so much courage and she is encouraging,” Gibson said.
Following the emotional moment, Brown said she was shocked at the “overwhelming support” she has received from her family since her diagnosis.
“I am just still in shock to see how many people shaved it to support me this way. I never really thought this would happen,” Brown said in awe.